Lahore Fort facing decay, laments Pakistani daily

Islamabad: The Lahore Fort, which is a "16th-century jewel of Mughal architecture and has but one rival in the subcontinent the Agra Fort" in India, is facing decay, a leading Pakistani daily has said.

An editorial in the Dawn Monday said that a wedding function on the historical Lahore Fort premises "by a party with connections in the Punjab government once again comes as an instance of bending the rules to please `friends`."

"This was done in blatant violation of the rules set by Unesco, which has enlisted the fort on its World Heritage list of endangered monuments."

It described the Lahore Fort as "16th-century jewel of Mughal architecture (which) has but one rival in the subcontinent: the Agra Fort, which is arguably less spectacular but for its view of the Taj Mahal from one of the balconies".

"The 17th-century Shish Mahal Palace inside the Lahore Fort indeed has no rival in the entire region; international donors recently saved it from further decay at a hefty cost by bolstering its falling ceiling."

The editorial lamented that the "the ban on the holding of functions inside the fort was observed only in its breach during the Pervez Musharraf regime; it now seems that the sorry trend has continued under the present Punjab government which is the official custodian of Lahore`s Mughal monuments".

"The fort is particularly at high risk of decay, given its location, sandwiched as it stands between two major city arteries plagued by carbon emissions by heavy vehicular traffic."

The warnings by experts that "the unique tile work adorning the outer walls of the fort is now in an advanced state of decay due to aerial pollution and vibrations caused by heavy traffic" have fallen on deaf ears, it said.


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